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Family of four killed after teen daughter fell asleep and drove off cliff, police say
Featured Image Credit: KREM2

Family of four killed after teen daughter fell asleep and drove off cliff, police say

The car was found partially submerged in a river

Police in Idaho believe an entire family was killed in a car crash when the teenage driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove off a cliff.

The victims of the incident were found on Saturday (10 June), when a fisherman found the car lying upside down and partially submerged in the Salmon River north of Riggins, Idaho.

Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho State Police, the Riggins Ambulance and Dive Team, and the Idaho Transportation Department all responded to the scene, where four people were found dead inside the vehicle.

A dive team was among those who responded to the scene.

The victims were later identified as Calvin 'CJ' Miller, 36, and his three children; Dakota Miller, 17, Jack Miller, 10, and Delilah Miller, 8.

The family members had been reported missing after they set off from Spokane, Washington to travel to Council, Idaho, but never arrived.

A statement from the Idaho County Coroner said the family's last known location was at the top of White Bird grade.

On Wednesday, an accident report for the incident revealed that police believe Dakota had been driving the car at the time of the crash, and that they were tired and fell asleep while behind the wheel.

“Due to this, Dakota drove off the highway, striking a large pile of rocks sending the vehicle airborne,” the report said. “The vehicle struck another large pile of rocks, flipping the vehicle over end and landing upside down in the Salmon River.”


The car fell 30 feet into the river, the impact of which is thought to have broken a window of the car.

Police believe water from the river then came flooding in, causing those inside the car to drown.

"Our hearts are broken for this family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time," the coroner said, adding that the family's loved ones have been notified.

Zella Blair, the ex-partner of Miller and mother of Jack and Delilah, told KREM2 her family was distraught at the news.

“I don’t know if I can get used to them not coming through the door after school and yelling for me again,” she said. "They were huge. They were my whole life.”

Blair learned of the deaths from Miller's current partner, Amberlynn Weber.

“I feel really bad for Amber though because she did lose all four people of her household,” she said. “Even though they weren’t her blood kids, she was always really great to them.”

GoFundMe pages have been set up in the wake of the accident to help loved ones cover funeral costs for Calvin and the three children.

Topics: Cars, US News